- Andy Warhol from America.
Warhol did more than any other artist to subvert the modernist artistic stereotype. He was not an intellectual in the art world, and though he graduated form Carnegie Institute of Technology, his education and his intelligence was not immediately obvious. He appeared to some as an idiot savant and others as a genius by changing his opinions constantly. He did not strive for intellectual originality, either, as he replicated himself over and over and freely distributed credit for his ideas to his employees or American culture, while putting his name on products that he had no connection with what so ever. Finally, Warhol didn't even have the typical gender sterotypes of a modernist artist. Claimed by the gay community, occasionally gallivanting about in drag, and wearing makeup on a regular basis, it was impossible to peg Warhol in even this respect. In fact, it is probably this inability to nail down any of Warhol's concepts, opinions or even the general facts of his life that set him apart the most from the modernists with their clear direction of artistic progression. Relativist even in his lifestyle, these three sections describe some of the more postmodern characteristics and infamous tales of Warhol's carefully manicured image.
A Short Biography of Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola August 6th 1928 in Pitsburg, PA to parents Andrej and Julia Warhola (though he insisted the birth certificate was a forgery, and sources list his birth from 1928 to 1931). He was the youngest of three children, and his father moved about working as a coal miner for much of Warhol's childhood. Warhol had several, "nervous breakdowns" as a child. Though textual sources can not agree on the number they happened before his father's death of tuberculos peritonitis in 1942. Later that same year, Warhol attended a free program in art appreciation and training from the Carnegie Institute of Technology. In 1845 he graduated from Schenley High School and entered the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon University) where he majored in pictorial design. He graduated in 1949, moved to New York, and landed a job with Glamour Magazine. His first job was the creation of artwork for the article, "Success is a Job in New York." (click to view) During his commercial career he began to use the name Warhol.
During the 1950's he bought his first television set, moved in with his mother, began to dye his hair silver, and accumulated eight cats named Sam. He also won commendations from the Art Director's Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts, and showcased his first individual show (Andy Warhol: Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote) his first group show (Recent Drawings U.S.A.), and publishes numerous small promotional books including 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy.
Throughout the 1960's Warhol amassed an enormous catalogue of work. In 1960 he began his first commercial and comic strip paintings and was surprised in 61' when he viewed an exhibit of Roy Lichtenstein utilizing the same comic strip theme. He made his first film in 1963, Tarzan and Jane Regained…Sort of, and founded The Factory, his studio. In 1968 on June 3 he was shot by Valerie Solanis and nearly died. During this decade he created many of his most famous works and series including the Campbell soup cans, the Marilyns, the Do-It-Yourself paint by numbers, the Elvises, and the Electric Chairs, produced many films which became underground classics with Factory director Paul Morrissey, founded Warhol Enterprises, and backed The Velvet Underground.
At the start of the 1070's Warhol began publishing Interview Magazine, and renews his dedication to painting and portraiture. His mother dies in 1972, and Warhol produces some of his more morbid works for the rest of the decade including, Maos, Skulls, Hammer and Sickles, Oxidations, and Shadows.
In the 1980's Warhol added TV producer to his repertoire with two shows Andy Warhol's TV in 1982 and Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes for MTV in 1986. His major works at this time include, Guns, Knives, Dollar Signs, Rorschachs, Camouflages, and his self portraits. In 1987 on February 22 Warhol died in New York following routine gall-bladder surgery, more than two thousand people attended the funeral service.